Is it legal to send home laundry with the managers to do at home?

UPDATED: Dec 5, 2011

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Is it legal to send home laundry with the managers to do at home?

My boss set up a kiosk for a pretzel company in a mall. We as the managers have to take the laundry home and it gets butter stains on our clothes and wear and tear on our personal equipment. I’m worried he will fire us because of his unreasonable expectations if we refuse to do it. There were several other important things needed for this job that he did not provide and hasn’t been very willing to reimburse us for. He hasn’t been proactive about setting up a laundry service and its obviously not a priority for him. We don’t want to lose our jobs. How much is within our legal rights to refuse?

Asked on December 5, 2011 under Employment Labor Law, Washington


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Unfortunately, you can't refuse to do the company's laundry: an employer may make it a condition, term, or requirement of employment that employees do the business's laundry at home. Also, a company does not have to provide tools, equipment, etc. for the employees--they can be made to purchase whatever they need for the job. And the company also does not have reimburse employees for  work expenditures. Basically, the employer may make the job difficult and unrewarding, and employees' only choice or option is whether to work there or not, unfortunately.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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